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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

“I keep in mind each little element” from Daytona 500 losses

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his outcomes at superspeedway races, that should not come as a shock. 4 of Blaney’s 10 Cup victories have come at Daytona or Talladega.

Within the Daytona 500, the Team Penske driver has two runner-up finishes and has been so near capturing the chequered flag on a number of different events. 

“I really feel like I’ve been near this factor a few occasions. I had an excellent shot to win it a pair years in the past and it simply didn’t work out,” mentioned Blaney throughout Daytona 500 on Wednesday. He now goals to be the primary driver in over 20 years to observe up a NASCAR Cup title with a win within the 500.

“When folks ask me that, that’s the dream deal. You win the championship after which flip proper round and win the five hundred. The final particular person to do it was Dale Jarrett in 2000, so it’s about time somebody possibly does it once more. We’ll see. 

“You simply attempt to study from experiences from earlier races right here and work out, ‘Hey, what did we do effectively to place us in a spot to win? And what selections did I make that sort of stored us out of victory lane?’ 

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“You simply hope to seek out your self in these spots once more and attempt to make the fitting choice, so we’ll see. You simply attempt to be rolling on the finish of it and hopefully you’re there, however I’m excited for it. 

Ryan Blaney, Group Penske, Menards/Nice Lakes Flooring Ford Mustang

Picture by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

“It needs to be nice and attempt to add the five hundred onto RP’s [Roger Penske] Rolex 24 that he obtained not too way back right here.”

This can be Blaney’s tenth begin in ‘The Nice American Race,’ and he has been learning footage from current Cup races at drafting tracks to raised put together himself for this weekend’s effort. 

“I watch via the couple weeks main as much as this race I watched final 12 months’s 500. I watched ‘22’s 500. I watch every summer season race from right here the final couple of years, after which I watch even some Talladega races, simply drafting tracks, simply making an attempt to see eventualities. 

“I normally take a look at different locations I take a look at my eventualities and that’s simply me and my spotter try this work of like what did we do effectively, what did we do poorly. Even the finishes right here it’s like, what transfer did this man make on the finish of the race final 12 months and in ‘22 that obtained him the win, so that you attempt to research all that. 

“You by no means know. There are one million, trillion conditions that may pop up, however you simply attempt to determine that possibly there are some similarities to this example that you simply would possibly end up in.

“You simply attempt to dump all of the stuff into your mind that you simply hope to subconsciously pop up if you’re in that place, and it labored out for these guys who ended up successful the race.”

Blaney’s many brushes with Daytona 500 victory

Wanting again on his many close-calls, Blaney defined that it is onerous to overlook how shut he is been.

“I keep in mind each little element of the way you run second. Drivers clearly keep in mind it,” he mentioned. “You keep in mind those you lose.

“Those that sting I really feel such as you keep in mind these much more. You keep in mind each little element about them, so, yeah, we’ve run second right here twice. I really feel like I’ve had a terrific shot to win it possibly two or three different occasions and it simply hasn’t performed out. 

“I attempt to take these as issues like operating second or near successful this factor and never doing it, however I at all times attempt to take issues from it as, ‘OK, we did a extremely good job of placing ourselves in a spot to win this race. What can I do and what can we do as a staff to attempt to change the result of that?’ 

“Nice, you get there, however you’re simply gathering knowledge and former experiences and I believe that’s good. 

“Somebody informed me that that is my tenth Daytona 500, which is loopy. I’ve been fortunate to have some good runs in it, so that you simply attempt to get all of that stuff that you simply’ve realized and attempt to change it. 

“You do all that stuff and you could possibly get wadded up on lap two and it goes for nothing, however you simply attempt to take the entire information and expertise which you can and, hopefully, you’re in a spot to the place you should utilize it. 

“That’s all you ask for is an opportunity to make use of these items that you simply’ve realized and apply it, and that’s the most important factor. Hopefully, we will attempt to get it completed, so we’ll see.”

Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney

Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney

Picture by: Russell LaBounty / NKP / Motorsport Images

In 2017, Blaney was the Daytona 500 runner-up to Kurt Busch, whereas in 2018 he led over half the race earlier than ending seventh.

In 2020’s scary end the place Ryan Newman went airborne, Blaney ended the race simply 0.014s in need of Denny Hamlin the victory. And in 2022, he and Penske team-mate Austin Cindric made contact within the combat to the road with Cindric prevailing as Blaney crashed.

“I take a look at the 2 that I vividly keep in mind essentially the most,” he mentioned. “We ran second in 2017 to Kurt [Busch] and that was a bizarre one. I couldn’t have completed something completely different. We obtained strung out. Guys have been operating out of fuel. I couldn’t get there. 

“However then I take a look at 2020 once we ran second and me, Denny [Hamlin] and Ryan [Newman] have been racing. I look again and it’s straightforward to Monday quarterback the factor and be like, ‘We’ll simply make a unique transfer.’

“It’s onerous to make these selections in that second. You’re making an attempt to course of one million ideas in a millisecond and you haven’t any time to consider them, course of them, apply them. You’re doing it off of motion and typically you make the unsuitable selection. 

“Clearly, I’d have favored to do one thing completely different in 2020. I’d have favored to decide on a unique lane. 

“Then in 2022 I had a terrific shot to win it pushing Austin [Cindric] and, yeah, it was the identical factor. I believed I waited till the right second to ensure certainly one of us received the race, however I simply want I’d have made a unique transfer.”

A brand new search for the Ford Mustang

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards/Great Lakes Flooring Ford Mustang

Ryan Blaney, Group Penske, Menards/Nice Lakes Flooring Ford Mustang

Picture by: David Rosenblum / NKP / Motorsport Images

This 12 months’s 500 is the third with the ‘Subsequent Gen’ automobile, however the first with redesigned Ford physique, known as the Mustang Darkish Horse. How will that change issues within the 500, the place locking bumpers and fixed contact are an integral a part of the race?

“It’s onerous to inform,” admitted Blaney. “You may take a look at it as a lot as you need. You may check it within the wind tunnel as a lot as you need. You can also make your assumptions, however till we get on the market within the Duels tomorrow evening it’s onerous to inform. 

“Till you even have anyone pushing you down the frontstretch, pushing you down the backstretch, getting pushed, pushing anyone else, you simply don’t know. 

“That’s one of the simplest ways to check it. I’ve at all times been a subject tester. That’s one of the simplest ways you’re gonna discover your knowledge, however I believe it’s hopefully pretty comparable. 

“I believed that’s what made the Fords so sturdy at these speedways was our capability to push and take pushes from clearly fellow Fords, however different producers as effectively, so hopefully we nonetheless have that power and I believe we are going to.”



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